We’re pleased to announce that we’ve changed our ministry name from Alliance Defense Fund to Alliance Defending Freedom. Our new name better communicates what you already know we do . . . build alliances between Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations to accomplish what none of us can do alone: protect and defend YOUR religious freedom.

For Faith. For Justice.
Changing our name to Alliance Defending Freedom rightly reflected our enduring mission to gain justice for those whose faith has been unconstitutionally denied in the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.



Alliance Defense Fund is now

Alliance Defending Freedom

Alan E. Sears


By God’s amazing grace, an exciting new chapter in the 19-year history of this alliance-building legal ministry has begun! After prayerful deliberations and much research, we now have a new name that effectively identifies our mission:

Alliance Defending Freedom
For Faith. For Justice.

We pray this new name will:

  • open thousands of new doors for Alliance Defending Freedom, strengthen our efforts, attract additional Allied Ministry Friends, and make us even more effective at defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family; and
  • allow us to do things this ministry has never done before — for the glory of God, and the eternal salvation of more and more people.

Alliance Defending Freedom and our hundreds of allies are continuing the crucial work envisioned by ministry leaders who launched this legal ministry in 1994. Our Founders saw the critical need to protect religious freedom from repeated attacks by the American Civil Liberties Union and its allies. Thanks to the generous support of our Allied Ministry Friends, we’re winning nearly 80 percent of the court battles we’ve litigated to completion. With continued support, Alliance Defending Freedom and our Allied Attorneys will keep winning great victories to preserve the free exercise of religion.


Alan Sears
President, CEO, and General Counsel
Alliance Defending Freedom

1993 Free speech and religious freedoms ravaged

The Body of Christ in America was in big trouble. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its allies fought — many times unopposed — to crush religious expression. Without an effective battle plan, Christians were losing their history and heritage of religious freedom mostly by default.

Larry Burkett, Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Bill Bright, Marlin Maddoux, Dr. D. James Kennedy

January 31, 1994: ADF launches strike force for freedom

Christian leaders, alarmed by the legal attacks on religious freedom, launch Alliance Defense Fund with Alan Sears as president.


2 critical wins for religious liberty

1995 — ADF plays a critical role in two Supreme Court victories that set legal precedents for future victories. One affirms the right for organizations to not associate with groups with whom they disagree. The second faults universities for illegally denying funding to student activities by reason of their religious convictions.


Legal Academy established

1997 — First-ever ADF Legal Academy begins training Christian attorneys in constitutional law so they can provide pro bono/dedicated service to the Body of Christ.


Blackstone Legal Fellowship

2000 — The ADF Blackstone Legal Fellowship leadership development program trains some of the best and brightest Christian law students from across the nation.


Equal access to school property
for Christians

2001 — U.S. Supreme Court rules that middle schools must provide equal access to after-school Bible clubs to meet on school property, thanks to precedent set by ADF.




2003The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today, by ADF President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears and Vice President of Research Craig Osten is published.


Same-sex “marriage” challenged in
San Francisco

2004 — ADF attorneys successfully challenge the illegal actions of then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom when he directs the city and county clerk to issue “marriage” licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of state law.


The ACLU vs.


2005The ACLU vs. America, by ADF President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears and Vice President of Research Craig Osten is published.


U.S. Supreme Court affirms religious freedoms

2006 — In less than a month, the U.S. Supreme Court issues unanimous decisions affirming religious freedom in four ADF-backed cases.


Victory in
“partial-birth abortion” case

2007 — The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the federal ban on so-called “partial-birth abortions” in the ADF-backed case, Gonzales v. Carhart.




2008 — ADF launches its new magazine, Truth & Triumph.


ADF challenges
ACLU in school

2011 — The U.S. Supreme Court affirms in ACSTO v. Winn, the right for parents to choose the best educational option for their children through an Arizona tuition tax credit program. This includes provision of scholarship funds to private Christian schools. The ACLU loses the right to use its “offended taxpayer” strategy to challenge such programs.


religious liberty

2012 — ADF opens its European office in Vienna, Austria.

Alliance Defending Freedom

July 2012 and beyond Advancing For FAITH . . . For JUSTICE

By God’s amazing grace, a brand new chapter in the 18-year history of this legal ministry begins. Alliance Defense Fund changes name to Alliance Defending Freedom. This new name and tagline will more effectively communicate our mission, strengthen our efforts, and attract like-minded Allied Ministry Friends.


Send a gift of support

Help us continue to impact religious liberty worldwide. Ensure that your right to freely live out your faith is protected today and for years to come.

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We’ve included the most common questions we’re receiving right here for you to peruse. If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us.

Q:Why make the change after so many years of building name recognition under your former name?
A: In one word: Stewardship. We are adopting a new name, tagline, and logo to better communicate who we are and what we do, and why our work is so important. The new identity represents a tremendous opportunity and will help open up thousands of doors for our ministry, as more and more Christians are exposed to our ministry and its work.
Q:Why did ADF change its name to Alliance Defending Freedom?
A: Research indicated the name “Alliance Defense Fund” confused people more than it clarified what the ministry is and what it accomplishes. As an alliance-building legal ministry, we are joined by a common purpose essential to our winning strategy. This new name helps communicate who we are, our priorities, and how we go about achieving those priorities. Our new tagline — For Faith. For Justice. — is easily understood and underscores our purpose in affirming that we defend religious freedom so that faith — specifically Christianity — can freely flourish and that justice — our God-given right to freedom of religious expression — prevails.
Q:With the new name, are you changing your mission?
A: Our mission has not changed. Alliance Defending Freedom is still an alliance-building legal ministry encouraging Christians to come together to accomplish what none of us can do on our own: protect and defend the religious freedom that was bestowed upon us by God and secured in the U.S. Constitution. We are building an ever-stronger alliance of like-minded allies — attorneys, ministry leaders, pastors, Christian organizations, students, and other Christians — who value a life of faith lived freely and protected by just laws.
Q:How will changing your name advance your mission and strategy?
A: Because the new name, tagline, and logo communicate our purpose and priorities in a way that is meaningful and easily understood, the new brand identity has the opportunity to improve the reception of the ministry and its goals among diverse groups of potential supporters of the ministry. This change will also improve the communication impact and help increase stewardship of the ministry’s resources.

Additionally, we must grow the awareness and support of our alliance in order to increase our ability to provide strategy, training, funding, and litigation for our growing Allied Attorney network. And we must expand the alliance both in the United States and abroad to increase our ability to counter escalating threats against religious freedom.
Q:Why is the emphasis placed on “Alliance?”
A: As an alliance-building legal ministry, we encourage Christians to come together to accomplish what none of us can do on our own: to protect and defend our religious freedom. To this end, we unite those who value a life of faith lived freely and protected by just laws. We unite attorneys, ministry leaders, pastors, Christian organizations, students, and other Christians. A strong alliance of like-minded organizations, attorneys, and individuals, joined by a common purpose, is essential to our winning strategy. Indeed, it is second only to our reliance on Christ.
Q:Will the name change affect my tax receipts for donations given earlier in the year of the change?
A: No. The change is in name only.  Alliance Defending Freedom is still the same 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and your gifts are still tax-deductible per the Internal Revenue Code.
Q:Is religious freedom now your only area of focus?
A: No. “Defending Freedom” communicates the essence of what the alliance does — defending religious freedom — and is the overarching idea on which all other freedoms depend. We continue to defend those whose religious freedom has been unconstitutionally affected in the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.
Additional Information
For further information about the new identity for Alliance Defending Freedom, please call us at (480) 444-0020 or (800) 835-5233.